Every week, a different FADER editor compiles a playlist to highlight a new release and give you a guide to that artist’s web of influences and peers. These Staff Selects live in our Spotify app, alongside GEN Fs from our archives and playlists for each issue. This week, it’s Emilie Friedlander on the music from the films of David Lynch.
With its recent reissue of the Eraserhead soundtrack, Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones label did a good job of reminding us that David Lynch is just as adept at manipulating our emotions through sound as he is at dreaming up the kinds of bizarre scenarios that most of us could only come up with, well, in dreams. If you think the director went out on a bit of a limb with his foray into Auto-Tune on last year’s Crazy Clown Time, you might be surprised to learn that many of the cries, screeches, and static washes that we hear on his 1977 film debut were recorded by Lynch himself, with collaborator Alan Spelt, in the budding auteur’s own bathtub.
On the more accessible end of the spectrum, he’s always had a knack for linking up with strong musical talent, from American composer Angelo Badalamenti (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive) to Twin Peaks siren Julee Cruise and the late, great host of New Wave Theatre, Peter Ivers, who collaborated with Lynch on Eraserhead’s theme song “In Heaven.” Revisiting the sonic dimension of his singular cinematic atmospheres—one part creepy familiarity, two parts dreamy estrangement—today’s Staff Selects playlist combines originals from Lynch’s film and TV career with some Lynch-inspired contemporary music and a couple of older numbers that, thanks to his movies, we’ll never hear the same way again.